Day 11: Multilingual COVID-19 Information Videos

Published by Access 2 Perspectives on

There is a lot of information circulating about COVID-19 – some more reliable than others. For many individuals, it is stressful to sort through differing messages – often in languages that are not their mother-tongue.
We propose to address this with short, consistent messages provided in as many regional/local languages as possible. For that, we need the help of researchers and other communicators. 

We aim to create 2-minute videos in as many languages as possible that present a consistent message about COVID-19, containment strategies and practical health information.

COVID-19 information in regional languages:

Lilanga [DR Congo]

IsiNdebele [Zimbabwe]

Luganda [Uganda]

Playlist feat. Gbagyi, Yoruba, Igbo, Efik, Urhobo, Hausa & Sign Language [Nigeria]

How to contribute

  1. Have a look at the talking points below
  2. Translate them into your local language
  3. Add a greeting, a positive statement, an assurance that individual action can make a difference
  4. Film yourself presenting this message. Aim for up to 3 minutes (file size >600MB)
  5. Label the video in the following way: COVID_Introduction_LANGUAGE_COUNTRY_dd-mm-2020
  6. Upload your video to YouTube and fill in this Google Form:

Using the information from the Google Form we will curate a central list of videos on the Access 2 Perspectives website at
We will also tweet out new videos, curate an Access2Persepectives YouTube channel and share on Facebook. We will log the dissemination on the Access2Perspectives website.

  • Twitter: Send your video out to friends and family, tweet about it, share it with community organizers (churches, schools, social networks). Please tag us at @johave and use the hashtag #COVID19video

Any problems, questions or concerns, email:

Use of videos

We want to ensure that the videos are as widely shared as possible. We make no restrictions on the dissemination of the videos. To ensure responsible conduct we suggest that all sharing be governed by a Creative Commons cc-by license (

Talking points

Introduce yourself – where are you from, what do you do?

  • Hello, my name is … from (city, country)

What is coronavirus?

  • Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause respiratory illnesses in humans.
  • Most of the illnesses caused by coronaviruses are mild but they can be more severe.
  • Recently a new illness caused by a coronavirus, COVID-19, was identified and has spread rapidly worldwide.  

What is COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is a newly-identified disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. 
  • It was first noticed in patients in late 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province in central China.
  • This strain of coronavirus transmits easily between humans and has spread rapidly since. 
  • COVID-19 has now been reported in over 150 countries worldwide with China, Italy, the US, Spain and Germany currently badly affected. 
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a pandemic in mid-March 2020.

What are the symptoms?

  • The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and a dry cough.
  • Symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually, lasting for up to two weeks. 
  • Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. 
  • Severe symptoms of the disease have included trouble breathing, a persistent tight chest, confusion and bluish lips or face. 
  • Certain groups of people are at more risk of severe disease, including, older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions including high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes.
  • Can you only infect other people if you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus?
  • Some people only get very mild symptoms and may not consider themselves ill. 
  • However, people early on in the infection with very mild symptoms have been found to have high levels of the virus and can infect other people. 
  • As soon as symptoms develop, it is important to start reducing social contacts and ‘self-isolate’ in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus onwards. 
  • Evidence suggests that mild disease, with few symptoms, is common in children. Cases of adults transmitting COVID-19 without showing any symptoms of the disease have also been reported, although it is unclear how common this is.

What should you do to 

  • Keep safe
  • In order to protect yourself, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and regularly, especially after you have been out in public. 
  • Alcohol gels can also be used as an alternative. 
  • It is also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, it is also important to put some distance between yourself and other members of the community. 
  • Keep others safe if you have symptoms
  • After coming into contact with the virus, symptoms may appear up to 14 days later. 
  • If you think you have been exposed to someone who may have had the virus or you start developing symptoms, it is important to ‘self-isolate’ for 14 days to avoid passing the virus on. 
  • Stay at home if you are sick or other members of your household become ill. 
  • Ask family, friends or neighbours if they are able to drop food off for you and avoid public transport.
  • If you have to leave the house, you should wear a facemask, and make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  
  • In many regions that have been affected by the virus, ‘social distancing’ is required to inhibit further spread of the virus. 

What is social distancing?

  • In badly affected regions, people are being asked to implement ‘social distancing’ measures. 
  • This involves reducing the number of contacts people have throughout the day in order to minimise the number of transmissions. 
  • Many people are being encouraged to work from home and avoid public transport if possible. 
  • Gatherings with friends and family (including weddings and christenings) are being discouraged. 
  • People considered at risk of severe infection are being asked to follow stricter rules than other members of society. 
  • It is important during this time to think about vulnerable people in the community and look out for everyone’s mental health. 
  • Communities have been setting up contact groups, meaning people can ask their neighbours for help if required. 
  • If you are required to stay home, it is important to continue to exercise, eat healthily and stay active. 
  • Many families and friends are keeping in touch using remote technology such as phones, internet, and social media. 

Why are social distancing and travel controls being implemented by governments?

  • These policies are designed to reduce the number of interactions that people have, making it harder for the virus to spread in communities. 
  • By doing this, it is hoped that hospitals and medical facilities in affected regions will not become overburdened, and can provide treatment for as many cases as possible. 
  • Many governments are therefore banning large gatherings, such as concerts and sports events. 
  • Other areas that attract crowds, such as non-essential shops, gyms and restaurants may also be asked to close. 
  • Schools and Universities may have been closed as well. 
  • Many countries are also imposing travel restrictions, limiting who can enter and leave the countries.
  • Reference place to find country-specific guidelines

What can we expect in the upcoming months?

  • This is a new illness, which we still have a lot to learn about. 
  • Whilst in some countries the spread of the disease appears to be slowing, in many other countries we are seeing the opposite. 
  • It is a fast-changing situation, and it is important that people keep up-to-date with guidance from their governments. 

Sources of information

Text provided by

Anna McNaughton, University of Oxford
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7436-8727
Twitter: @AnnaLMcNaughton

Louise Bezuidenhout, University of Oxford
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4328-3963
Twitter: @loubezuidenhout

Johanna Havemann, Access2Perspectives
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6157-1494, Twitter:  @johave

This text and all videos are under cc-by license 

Cite as: Bezuidenhout, Louise, McNaughton, Anna, & Havemann, Johanna. (2020, March 26). Multilingual COVID-19 Information Videos. Zenodo.